Saturday, April 3, 2010
Until now, I haven't given much thought to how my life would have panned out had I stayed in Louisiana instead of coming up to Idaho. I imagine I would have stayed with my boyfriend there (despite the awfulness) and been prisoner to relying on others to make me happy. Most likely I would live with my parents and be a continuous brat. I cannot see what responsibilities I would have that would help me grow and re-define myself. I cannot see true happiness.
This all came to mind as I perused an old friend's webpage. This particular friend was key in helping my testimony of the gospel take bloom. She, and her entire family, were shining examples not only to me but to an entire branch of faithful Saints. She had lots of life, smiles, and tears from her own tenderhearted feelings of love for her Heavenly Father and His Son. I looked up to this friend for many years.
Well I just happened to see what kinds of things she is into now...some being alcohol, sex, and offensive speech. It made me very, very sad to know that her path led her to that place. I don't know what happened. The same situation goes for many in my life that once had a completely different set of standards. I do not judge them. I love them still, and that's why my heart breaks. How did this happen?
I am NOT saying that all my friends who stayed in the south took a similar path- definitely not. But-for me- I can't help but wonder if I would have ended up like that if I hadn't moved when I did. I only say this because, when I learned to be independent, I realized that all I could do was rely on the Lord. Meeting so many different types of people in another part of the country helped me re-evaluate who I wanted to be. Coming to BYU-Idaho was a revelation in itself...there were good, honest guys here. Guys who didn't force their thinking or their bodies on me. There were strong girls here, too, that loved the gospel so much and it shone through their eyes. The professors called me by name and credited my efforts, but also showed me a better way to ask, seek, and knock. All of what I was taught to be true in Louisiana manifested itself here in this stupid little town. I have to wonder... would I have ever felt happiness like this in any other place?
Thank you, Rexburg. I hope that when I leave with my husband and son that I don't change paths, and that the strength I've gained here can someday help bring others back into what used to make them shine.